Non-Negative Benedict Arnold Biography

May 2018
I am looking for a biography that portrays Benedict Arnold in a positive light, or at least a non-negative light.

Personally, even as an American (and a veteran of the American Army), I don't have the disdain for Arnold that many do. I would sooner criticize him for his pride than his treason: in all honesty, were I alive in 1775, I probably would have sided with the Loyalists.


Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
Not a book, but there is this documentary...

I've only seen the trailers, so I can't comment on the quality.
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Jun 2017
He was an objectively brilliant commander who despite his treason might have done more to contribute to the existence of the US than any other soldier except Washington. He was the hero of Saratoga and his treason might be a reason the battle takes a bit of a back seat in American lore compared to say Washington crossing the Delaware. So there should be positive stuff on him because on the merits he was arguably the best soldier of his generation, all I have is a super simplistic Cracked video that I remember that discusses how great Arnold was but even there they make extra careful to cite how bad Arnold is while praising him and I feel in the US any such positive stuff you'll find is going to have a disclaimer on the bottom. Examining him is tough, heroism at Saratoga versus treason at West Point, legitimate grievances with the continental congress versus him being the guy who destroyed nearby neighborhoods.

I would also recommend the relevant episodes of Liberty Kids they do a pretty good job of doing his heroics justice and giving his side of the story even though it's a kid's cartoon. Paints the picture of a man who just wanted a promotion that people of far less merit were receiving who just snapped. Think this is a story and/or cautionary tale many unappreciated people professionally could relate to.
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Forum Staff
Mar 2008
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
This is a recent bio which I think is as fair a portrayal as is possible.

An American Life